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Chapter 32. Delivery > See and Say - Pg. 264

Delivery 264 By the end of this chapter, you'll know how to cope with any speech emergency that might arise. I'll teach you how to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Let's start with the way you actually deliver your speech. See and Say As much as possible, you should sound like you're saying your speech, not reading it--even if you actually are reading it. Strive for a natural delivery by using the following techniques: · Memorize the opening and closing of your speech. This will help you cope with stage fright; you'll feel more relaxed if you've got the beginning and end down pat. · Don't jump right into the speech. It's perfectly all right--and even desirable--to give the audience a few seconds to look you over while you get your bearings. · When you arrive on-stage, adjust the microphone, place your papers on the lectern, look around the room, smile, and take a deep breath. · If you're holding your material, keep it near eye level. This shortens the distance between the words and your eye, and makes it easier for you to maintain eye contact with the audience as you speak. · Don't flip or lift pages. Instead, smoothly slide one page or card under the next as you work your way through your speech. (That's why you should use a paper clip rather than staple your pages together.) To Memorize or Not to Memorize? Speech of the Devil Never stare downward at the podium as you read your speech. Your words will get muffled and you won't be able to make eye contact with the audience. Look down as you need to, but keep your head up to address the audience. Should you memorize your speech? In general, I don't advise novice speakers to memorize their entire speeches because I think it creates too much pressure to get the speech "absolutely perfect." Memorizing your speech can also result in a stilted, wooden delivery. Professional speakers who repeatedly deliver the same speech often memorize it, yet with each delivery they adjust the speech to suit the occasion and audience. Only a very skillful speaker can do this. So unless you're a regular on the rubber chicken circuit, avoid memorizing the entire speech. Put on a Happy Face Your attitude makes a tremendous difference in the success of your speech. Show your enthusiasm from the very start. Let your audience know that you're pleased to have the chance to address them. True vivacity and excitement make your speech fresh and effective--even if you've given the same address before. Make each time you speak seem like the first time.